Popular YouTuber JonTron Has Some Wild Thoughts On Immigration He'd Like To Share

Jon Jafari is a popular YouTube gamer and comedian better known as JonTron. He's the founder of Normalboots — a network of channels including Did You Know Gaming and Peanutbuttergamer — and was the original cohost of the "Let's Play" channel Game Grumps. Between those projects, Jafari wields influence over an estimated 12 million subscribers, not counting minor cameos and crossovers elsewhere within the YouTube community.

Image: Screengrab via JonTronShow

More recently, Jafari has claimed that Mexican immigrants are setting up "ethnic enclaves" in the US "to break parts of America off back into Mexico".

Jafari began his descent into madness on Monday, when he tweeted a defence of Iowa Representative Steve King's controversial claim that "[we] can't restore our civilisation with somebody else's babies," a remark that has since been condemned by just about everyone except for white nationalist David Duke. From there, Jafari's tweets led him to agree to defend his position during a conversation with professional streamer Steve Bonnell, better known as Destiny, on Twitch. Yes, yes, we're getting to the interesting stuff shortly.

Over the course of two hours, Jafari's comments on the stream ranged from baseless to deeply inflammatory. In addition to his ludicrous claim about Mexicans attempting to somehow recapture American land, he said that "we don't need immigrants from incompatible places" and that white people were going through a "demographic displacement" due to immigration, which he likened to apartheid South Africa. Truly the mind reels. But wait, there's more.

Jafari also claimed that wealthy black Americans commit more crimes than poor whites (citation badly needed), the court system doesn't display bias against people of colour (it does), that Irish and Italians were always considered "white" in America (they weren't), and that Black Lives Matter doesn't disavow violence (it does). "We've gotten rid of discrimination in our Western countries," said Jafari, only to later state that "nobody wants to become a minority in their own country".

The source of Jafari's anxiety seems to be the looming possibility that whites will become a minority in the United States, which he projects will happen by 2042. And despite Bonnell asking repeatedly why that matters, Jafari instead stumbled through far right talking points vilifying immigrants as lazy criminals and demanding the need for America to have a unifying culture (though he was unable to express why that would demand a white majority). "White interests" and "tribalism" were something he harped on repeatedly but was unable to quantify or defend the importance of. Bonnell pointed out that Jafari is half Iranian and half Hungarian himself. Jafari appeared open to the idea of immigration, conceding that "if they assimilated they would enter the gene pool eventually". One imagines Mengele would be proud.

Jafari was quick to jump on Bonnell the way many in the far right do when criticised: By claiming that someone is trying to police their thoughts. Jafari is free to think whatever he wants, and we're free to think less of him for it.

"I thought he would walk back some of the more extreme things he said, but it seems like he was pushing for something more insidious than what I'd originally expected," Bonnell told Gizmodo via Twitter. "ie: his 'gene pool' comment, his laughing about why black youth committed crime, his comparisons between black people in the US vs Africa."

We reached out to Jafari and Jafari's associated channels for comment but had not heard back at time of writing.

Originally posted on Gizmodo.


Comments

    Poor form by the Allure Media group to let this one plop on down from the US sewerage system of site un-aided.

    This article exists only to make the comments section of this particular article a cess-pool and we all know it.

    I don't begrudge the original author for covering the issue, nor the way they've covered it. It's a great article, but the publisher (Kotaku) has got to be a little more mindful in the way it's portrayed. Surely.

    Like a few that get 'lost in translation', this means different things to those of us reading it in Australia.

    Youtube has always been a hell-scape for gaming-related news, the perspective of Australian games reporting would hopefully be a little different to the yanks' view of 'it's like web vs print, it's the foooooooooooture!'

    The sorts of articles on this site that attract the 'i must free speech at any cost!' comment debates are hard to see coming, but not today. I expect it'll be the same usual suspects too.

      I don't accept that, and I'm keeping a very close eye on the comments here.

        @leigh is spot on.

        We don't need the heavily narrative driven political pieces from the US designed to create battle lines.

          I dunno man, as an Aussie who deliberately avoided politics prior to November 2016 who subsequently realised a lot of the world is way more fucked up than I thought, these sorts of pieces feel more important than ever. I've had friends who said racist/sexist/etc things in the past that I just let go, it's only now that I've started calling them out on it because I've realised where that's lead. I'd never heard of Jon prior to this article (even having really enjoyed normal boots stuff for years now) but now this article has given me pause to want to know more. I know I've personally lived in a bubble for a long time thanks to social media, the people around me, the media I consume etc, so seeing perspectives of different people (no matter how opposite) seems like a good thing? In the interest of learning/understanding etc

            The issues are important no question, it's how they are being framed that is having a detrimental effect on the issues themselves.

            I've followed politics closely for many years and what we are seeing is nothing new.
            It's your basic divide and conquer to facilitate a reframing of the Overton Window, but on a global scale.

            Basically by combining the massive political spectrum in to two impossible sides, you create a complex entity made of positive and negative aspects, directionless and undefinable.
            It's only function is to yell at the other complex entity, getting lost in the mess of ideals and agendas and rendering the core issue immobile.

            It's a false line in the sand and a choice of side that each stands for justice and truth....or is garbage, depending on what ever you want to believe.

            And yes, the media all played their parts well this cycle, AM was no exception.

            I could go on for hours, but in short I agree with you, was on a slightly different tangent though.
            I'm just sick of a corrupt system always being able to blame everyone else and how quickly we allow it just because it's easier.

            Last edited 15/03/17 12:58 am

      Normally I'd criticise a Menegus article, because IMHO they're mostly virtue-signalling and character assassination for the sake of it, but Jon's come out with some insane bullshit this time. I don't know how anybody can defend it. I think it was a fair call allowing it on the AU site - it's not likely to devolve into insane ranting. There's nothing to lose in translation here.

      Problem is, if you do that the "I must free speech at any cost" commenters 'win'.

      You'd truly get into a "censorship" issue of sorts, because Kotaku AU would have to weigh up "do we publish this otherwise arguably well written article, but set off the REEEEEEE commenters? Or do we not publish it so they shut the fuck up?".

      On another note, I can't believe I'm unironically using the words "censorship" and "free speech" in a Kotaku comment thread. I'm going to go shower myself in bleach.

        Again, not editing because I'm not getting stuck in that buggy purgatory that's going on at the moment.

        But essentially I'm saying, if you do this, the 'I must free speech at any cost' commenters now become the ones preventing 'free speech'.

      I got none of that myself, maybe you're projecting a little onto the article?

    Even if Steven King is a toss, people that didn't see this coming from Jon aren't paying attention. He is very red pilled these days, for better or worse.

    Always nice to hear from a white privileged middle class male for a fresh take on things...

      Well, he's born in the US but he's actually Iranian-Croat and Hungarian by descent, which makes this all the more perplexing.

        Second generation immigrants wanting to close the door to further migration isn't that uncommon. If you've seen how difficult it was for your family to integrate with a community, you might (a) see new migrants as competition, and (b) want to demonstrate that you are part of the in-group, unlike these out-group new migrants.

          Way to pretty much paint them as "uncle tom". Just because there are migrants that do not support a globalist agenda does not make them sell outs, they could have legit reasons for not wanting open borders.

            Being realistic, let's cut the hyperbole down a little, he's not painting *all* second gen immigrants like that. We all know they're not, he states it's not that uncommon, indicating that it's 'some' by way of statement. To be honest, I've heard some second and third generation immigrants in my own family (people who have married in, we're predominantly white) and friends, express those same sort of opinions, not to mention stating how much they agree with (ugh) Pauline Hansons ideological views for example (groan). It's some sort of weird 'heirarchy' that seems to exist in all walks of life, where people apply status to anything they can, "I''m third generation immigrated, oh you're only second? Pfffft." or "You're third generation immigrated? Geez, you DON'T have it as tough as us second gen immigrated" for example. Difficulty to integrate into communities breed attitudes like this and that difficulty to integrate often, usually, comes from ignorance unfortunately.

            On a side note, who gives a damn *what* Jontron thinks about immigration btw???

            Last edited 14/03/17 7:21 pm

              I care what he thinks to the extent that it's another nail in the coffin he's been building for a while now. I've always thought JonTron was a total dick and never understood the appeal he seems to have, and this just reinforces my opinion of him.

                Fair point, I can't say I've ever really watched him or paid him any real attention. I knew he *existed*, I just never cared what he thought lol. Now I'm off to catch my daily news from Philip De Franco!

              That's pretty much exactly what I meant. The question was "why would an immigrant express these kinds of views?", and I provided one reason why someone in that position might act like that.

              I definitely didn't mean that the majority of immigrants would hold those views: just that there are enough that you shouldn't think of anti-immigration immigrants as being rare as unicorns.

    Ah, the Kotaku hitpiece. Jon has made it to the big time.

    Jon is by his own admission not very good at discussing these topics, which was very apparent in the debate this article came from (apparently, I haven't watched it myself). Dude needs to stick to comedy.

      It does come off as very much a hit piece.

        Its pretty much where we are with the media in general. I hate the term culture war, but with the way the left and right play these horrible games its sure starting to seem that way.

        It only comes off that way because of Jon himself. He got absolutely destroyed in that debate and said some things that are wayyyy white supremacist in tone. He also said them without facts (in spite of them in many important cases)

        Sure I don't think kotaku is unbiased. But Jon wrote this hit himself.

          Yeah, his tweets for the last few weeks all have been quite belligerent in that way. You cannot complain about being done a "hit piece" after you were being provocative in a jerk way.

        ...in that it uses his words to construct his beliefs and criticises them rightly?

        Terrible, really, I know. They should've....faked some quotes?

        The author is obviously editorialising, but in a "racism is probably not great" and "race driven nationalism is not cool" sort of way. I don't think it's particularly contentious, or unfair, but I am not a raging bigot - so take my comments with a grain of salt.

    eh... I watch him for his entertainment/comedy, not for his views. Couldn't care less about his views/comments outside of that

    Being an internet personality means that your fanbase hinges on your personality. Once you start expressing political opinions that can be seen as either left or right, that changes how people see your personality, and you have to expect three things:

    Majority of people not to care.
    To strengthen/grow your audience that does agree with your views.
    To alienate the part of your audience that doesn't agree with your views, possibly losing them.

    Once you start alienating more people than you attract, that's where you run into problems (or not, look at people like Anita Sarkeesian, putting her political opinions at the forefront has cost her more potential fans than she gained, but has worked out in her advantage as her fanbase is much more devoted to her than it would be otherwise).

      He kept out of it for quite a while, but has been increasingly drawn into commenting on political issues, particularly after people got up in arms about him using "retarded" to describe the PSN at one point. Since then he's been progressively pushed into it and finally he's come out with... well, a load of nonsense, to be honest.

        There was a really good stream a while ago with Boogie, Philip Defranco, Jon Tron and Sargon of Akkad. It was interesting to see how even when they disagreed it didn't become a massive shit show.

          Yeah but nobody is interested in that because as soon as Sargon of Akkad is mentioned, it immediately gets labeled an alt-right shit-show...

            Actually, it was a good listen for most of the 5 hours. Yeah, Sargon gets a bad rep but he's really not nearly as bad as he's made out to be. I don't agree with several of his viewpoints but he is well-spoken and tends to offer supporting evidenbce for his arguements (if you watch the videos on his channel). From what I've seen, much of his bad rep comes from people who don't like what he has to say while they, simultaneously, claim that they are being oppressed by people like him.

            Last edited 14/03/17 3:37 pm

              Honestly, I have no idea who any of the other people you mentioned are and can't comment on them. The thing to remember is how much choice the consumer has in this market, there's enough high quality game related content out there that, if they care, a viewer will be able to find a channel that fits them in terms of quality and left-right leanings.

              Does this result in people isolating themselves away from people of different opinions? You betchya. But most viewers aren't looking for a video game personality to influence their opinions on politics any more than they look to their politicians to influence their opinion on video games.

              Of course, then discussions like in this thread come up where people share their opinions of personalities that others now have an emotional attachment to, then things get heated.

                But no I must go on my own personal crusade against all that is bad because I have a need for accomplishment in my life and due to modern life I can't accomplish anything else great. So tearing down random Internet guy will be my legacy.

            im only against Sargon because of youtube's "recommended for you" system because if you watched anything that had a mention of gamergate, feminist frequencey, antia, fez, hell fucking anything(kinda hard not hear about them really when one is subcribed to jim sterling, angry joe and Totalbuiscut), youtube would keep throwing up he fucking channel at me.

            Then i found out how to clear youtube history so dont have him show up at all. my youtube page was nice blank wall for sometime, but on my last few visits ive now been seening a hole heap of arabic shit comming up, yet ive recieved no email saying that youtube has been hacked

    No amount of logical reasoning can sway illogical opinion. Good try, but unfortunately from my experience, bigots will be bigots :/

    I really like coming here and reading about games. Not people's political views. How about you?

      I really dislike how political everything is, and within that: how tribal it is.

      I seem to be told to pick sides, that this person is evil or a bigot because they said X or Y.

      I just want to read about gaming news. Not who is the latest person with some connection to some form of gaming said something that made someone else upset.

      I would take bringing back Bashcrafts random Tokyo articles over political driven tribalism.

        Was going to make a #bringbackthebash joke earlier. These posts are shit fight baits. They are worse than the early Anad comic articles.

      Funnily enough, that same sentence is what fans of JonTron may be saying right now.

    I'll never understand why so many of the commenters here are viciously anti-"SJW." Or rather, I do understand why they are, but I don't understand why they come here.

    Kotaku is so very obviously a dirty, filthy, lefty SJW site. Why come here and complain about it so vociferously? I'm not saying people aren't allowed to comment on Kotaku if they're not lefty communists. That's stupid. I just don't understand why people are so vocal about it. You know what Kotaku is like.

    I think I'm going to go make a profile on Stormfront and then complain about how they aren't very inclusive.

      So many of the commenters are viciously anti-SJW because the ones that weren't ran out of energy after constantly rebutting the same petty arguments.

      Amazing how a few people insisting on being jerks and complaining about things they don't like can bring down a community.

      Editing this comment to fix a typo stuck it in the moderation queue for some reason so I reposted it below.

      Last edited 14/03/17 4:13 pm

      I increasingly have the problem of not even being able to tell which 'side' any given extremist is on. This might be part of the problem - perhaps they themselves don't know sometimes. It's obfuscated further by the fact that as your political views become more, err... aggressively held... you start to view even people who believe 98% of the same stuff you do as 'the enemy' because of the 2% you disagree on. My point being that it's possibly not so obvious.

      There's also the fact that Kotaku posts plenty of content that isn't political and people do have to get their gaming news somewhere.

      Or it could be that people enjoy arguing with people from outside their bubble for the purposes of broadening their perspective, even those who have very strongly held opinions. And it's definitely the case that some people just enjoying arguing.

      I will say though I actually think Kotaku's comment sections have gotten considerably better in the past few years. Even before Alex (mercifully) nuked some of the more confrontationally-toned replies, this comment section was already mostly comprised of people being fairly civil, as opposed to being completely consumed by flames as was the norm for a long time.

        Maybe because reality isn't as black and white as the media tries to make it.

        Someone can, for example, push for equality and not actually be racist but at the same time also be against immigration because they want more locals to get those jobs.

        This whole "left vs right" thing is just divisive bs when in fact many if not most people have grey views that lie somewhere in between.

        But it's the extremists we hear about because that's what makes stories (read: train wrecks) that sell and gets idiots like us to waste our time posting on them.

          I try not to be too heavy-handed for precisely that reason: most people don't live on the extremes of any ideological divide, and the back and forth discussion is ... well, it's what we should be having. It's what a good community should do, and should foster.

          I also don't think the reaction from people holding extreme views, or playing devil's advocate, should be a reason not to spark discussion about things that can get dicey, like this. Or put another way: the response from 1-2% shouldn't hold the other 98% hostage.

    FYI: some reasonable posts are going to get nuked by way of collateral damage. I'm trying to keep things from blowing out of hand, so I'd ask for a little bit of understanding in that regard if your post is affected.

    Try and keep things to the article at hand, rather than unrelated matters, and please remember that I'll be watching closely. There's room for wholehearted discussion, but keep the nonsensical crap out of it.

      I still think this article reads more like a hit piece but aside from that, your efforts are appreciated.

        My comment calling this thing a hitpiece was deleted. Should I instead only said "in my opinion, this feels like a hitpiece"?

          Wasn't it just the duplicate that got deleted? I remember earlier there were two of your 12:34 comment, now there's only one of them. Unless there was another I missed.

            Oh. Now I feel dumb. I'm phone posting, but I saw the "community guidelines" text with the deleted post and assumed the worst.

            My apologises to Alex/other mods.

        It feels like it because Jon had very little to no evidence for what he was saying, said racially charged/White supremacist things and has a serious lack of debating skills.

        A hit piece is one thing but this is a cesspool he created entirely on his own.

      Why was my comment nuked for addressing assertions from the author in the article, but I've read a whole thread about Sargon's alt-right leanings?

      I understand my post was long and this thread is getting out of control.

        Some of the language; you can probably work out which. I trust you understand I have to be very open handed with a thread like this to stop it from getting out of hand.

        Burnside's thread below might be a good place to restart that, if you'd like.

          Is there no way to just remove the offending messages and leave everything else? I am interested to see a reply to a notification. Maybe in the future an opt in option for seeing moderated messages would be nice. I understand you want to try and keep Kotaku clean, but if you guys are going to post the bait articles it would be nice to see the "discussions" to their conclusion.

            The problem with that is that the second you allow people in power to edit posts, you'll have people accusing theme of abusing that power. For example, taking someone with an unpopular opinion, changing a "do" to a "do not" and letting them get ravaged.

            I honestly don't believe anyone here would abuse power like that, but it's better to just not open that can of worms, IMO.

              That is a fair opinion to have, I am just a schmuck when it comes to suspense and want to know what that post said.

                Haha yeah. I know those exact feelings.

                  I don't even mind if they are abusive, I just want to understand why the left has become so aggressive. I am probably just out of the loop because I live with the locals of the central column and they don't really do politically correct talk out here.

                  I can't comment below, but the simple reason: if you nuke a parent comment in a thread, it will bomb all the ones underneath. That's happened to quite a few people who made perfectly reasonable posts, just as an FYI. Nothing I can do about that.

          Some of the language? Because I used the word retard once (and to describe the subject of the article, not the author)?

          It now just looks like you've nuked my post because I proved some of JonTron's points. The two upvotes and no downvotes are somewhat of a sign that I was contributing to the discussion.

          Seems weird to post a political article then nuke political comments.

            Again, I don't mind if you restate those without the language.

      We need animated GIF's that can replace comments... nuclear explosions... just for the shits and giggles of it for when a comment gets 'nuked' :)

    I'm trying to work out what the conversation actually is here.

    JonTron says a bunch of bigoted things dredged from the depths of the alt-right.

    Now as far as I know, he's not recanted any of them, or suggested the context was wrong. In fact he appears to have doubled down.

    What is perplexing is that the people in these comments 'defending' him, aren't actually defending him. They're talking about things to try and distract from the issue at hand.

    So I guess my question would be -

    can anyone ACTUALLY defend these views directly?

    I mean us 'SJW's' openly defend our points of view. But what I always see is the conservative audience members doing things like defending the 'right' of someone to say something awful - but shying away from admitting that they also believe the awful thing.

    I understand this is to do with self image, but it makes each of these articles a mirror image.

    Is there anyone who is going to actually post and say 'I agree with his comment X, and this is why'?

    Because the fact is many people do agree with these views. They're just generally afraid to admit it, because they know that they are pretty horrible things.

    Well I say go for it. As someone regularly pack-jumped by the alt-righters on here, it would be nice to actually see them express their relevant views for once.

    People are right in saying these conversations are constrained, but not in the way they think.

    So let's see some people support JonTron's comments openly and specifically please. That's the only way to actually discuss them.

      People weren't defending because Stephen King is a toss, most people are arguing that either;
      -They are sick of seeing political pieces on Kotaku AU (causing arguments in the comment sections)
      -That the usual arguments about the right aren't accurate because Jon's family are immigrants

      I haven't seen any groups defending Stephen King's ridiculously nationalistic opinion.

      Then there are also people just saying that they dislike how the media constantly tries to start fights in order to pull higher traffic.

        If Stephen King is a toss, then surely someone parroting his views should not go unchallenged. The media isn't starting fights to get traffic. Someone saying heinous shit and then when someone else responds by pointing out that that the first person is being an asshole, it's not the person pointing out the bad behaviour causing the fight. It's the asshole.

        As for people complaining about political pieces on Kotaku, the same people have been making the same complaints for years. This isn't an exaggeration. It's why the comment section is so barren. The rest of us have left. Instead of learning that most people don't agree with them and their constant complaints are falling on deaf ears, they keep doubling down and continue to drive people away.

        Oh and Jon's family being immigrants doesn't make the usual arguments invalid. It makes Jon a hypocrite.

          Will reply when I get home, its hard to write well thought out arguments with people yelling all around me.

          You are either misrepresenting what I am or miss understanding it. I at no point defended Jon, neither have most of the people in this comment section; I merely stated that people are opposed to parts of the article itself and some of the comments made by people above.

          I am of the opinion that what he said is really stupid, however; turning around to a migrant and saying that he has "white privilege" is bs, his family is from countries that aren't really known for looking out for its people (regardless of race). If you are going to attack his opinion do it in a way that is not straight out of the far left text book of "how to ostracise the centre and make the right look reasonable". There were people above that went straight to "white privilege" and "immigrant sellout", instead of attacking his ideals directly.

          The people normally complain about political pieces are probably like me and actually come here because for the most part there are articles that touch on other areas within geek culture and maybe also have writers on the web site that they like (Mark and Alex are pretty much the only reason I come back). You might think that we are silly, but you don't own the internet; we will frequent whatever sites we want and you will have to learn to accept that other people have opposing interests and beliefs.

          Of course Jon's family being immigrants has everything to do with making the usual arguments invalid. An immigrant can want border security for a great many reasons, it doesn't mean that they are doing it to fit in our sell out their people.

            Talking about privilege is not the far left making the right look reasonable. Reframing it as such is a far right taking to make the left look unreasonable. An important thing about most political discussion is that whoever frames the debate has a distinct advantage.

            Privilege is hugely relevant to discussions like this because many people who have it don't realise it. When someone who feels that they're disadvantaged in some way get told they're privileged, they react poorly. Most discussions around privilege are framed around that initial gut reaction. Privilege in this context is simply saying: all other things being equal, you have a distinct advantage because of factors beyond your control. That's going to give you a different perspective on things. A perspective that may not understand the struggles that people without that privilege have to deal with.

            It's about context and acknowledging these things.

            That being said only one person in the comments mentioned white privilege, whilst the article actually addresses the points that he made. And as you say, nobody is defending what he said. Everyone is instead dancing around the politics of the issue and obfuscating. To quote the article:

            Jafari is free to think whatever he wants, and we're free to think less of him for it.

            As for political discussions on Kotaku. I've been here a long time. That's not an attempt to pull rank, I have seen these political discussions play out time and time again.

            The people who complain about political articles here are people who complain about opposing view points. It's often full of concern trolling, "they have a right to say what they want" and "I just want to talk about games!"

            It's the same people and has been the same people for years. I accept that other people have opposing views but that specific people that I am talking about simply do not have valid views. They are screaming into the wind and the rest of us are sick of hearing it.

            Politics is a natural occurrence in all human interaction. You can take a side. You can ignore it. But to complain that it exists? Just don't engage. Articles don't exist without readers and someone refreshing the comment section over and over again to reply to everyone looks a lot like someone who wants to see more of those sorts of articles.

              I've been here a while too, pretty close to you I think. I agree for the most part with what you said, but I don't think the current environment is just another 'complainers gonna complain' situation.

              I mentioned to @hotcakes recently that it seems that people of particular political leaning have become emboldened since the US election, even to the point that it looks like coordinated brigading is going on. Expressing a social or progressive view is more likely to be downvoted and right-aligned posts (especially those critical of the site or article) seem much more common. It feels like every other article I go to now that someone's having a whinge about science being fake (eg. usebuy) or that everyone's too precious and their shitty humour should be appreciated (eg. the Hootsuite article on Gizmodo, or the women's day tweet article here), or whatever other obviously regressive thing they feel the need to tell everyone about.

              I think politics and ethics are great things to discuss, as you said they're integral to our human nature. I've certainly been guilty of doing that too combatively in the past, something I've tried to improve over the years, but I really do believe conversations about those things are important. But lately people seem less inclined to discuss these topics and more inclined to dismiss or attack anyone who disagrees. The general atmosphere across both Kotaku and Gizmodo is more adversarial and hostile, like opponents digging trenches and drawing battle lines instead of engaging in two-way conversation with open minds.

                The problem is, when people post "please stop the overtly political agenda pieces and stick to video game news" we get labeled in the alt right/conservative bracket because we simply dont agree on the "we need to have a discussion" rhetoric that gets thrown around on the back of political correctness gone mad.
                While im sure there are people who post here that are right wing, some of us just dont want a very clear bias from a news source of video games and otaku culture, which is probably like asking father christmas for a time machine.

                  I appreciate wanting no bias in articles, but that's not really the nature of Kotaku. I'm not sure how they'd feel about me saying this but there are other sites out there if clinical news reporting is the style you're after. This place is characterised by the personalities and opinions of its writers.

                  That said, if you don't want to read political opinion pieces related to video games, why not just skip over them? It's not like this one was a sleeper, it would have been obvious from the title alone it was going to deal with politics. Some people do want to read articles like this, and it seems unreasonable to expect the articles be stopped altogether because other people don't.

                  This would be more believable if you weren't actively upvoting everything on one side while downvoting everything on the other.

                  @zombiejesus
                  But sadly NONE of them are australian based.
                  And who the hell wants to deal with the blackpit of despair known as IGN.

                  I dont think these types of news stories are inherently wrong, neither was the pewdiepie (someone i dont really like) articles, its whats IN the article that (IMO) is the problem.
                  Its the removal of context in the PDP article that was nearly as bad as the WSJ article and getting facts wrong that try to make the point of the article to be inflammatory and make you dislike them. Just like this article claims BLM disavows violence done its name when it doesnt really do enough of that, yet movements like gamergate which had the same problem of assholes in their ranks corrupting any chance it had is seen as a dirty word that equals downvotes from the left.

                  The problem isnt that people arent unwilling to discuss, or have debates on topics anymore like you have suggested, the problem is everyone thinks they are 100% correct at all times and unwilling to look at the opposing viewpoint to see if it has any merit.
                  In jons viewpoint with alot of the stuff he said, he was wrong on (im pulling a random number here) say 75% of the issues he discussed, so in turn we get some posters claiming white privilege to a person who is not really white, but they want to be able to claim white privilege so they will ignore facts to support their own argument.
                  Just like Jon did.
                  And because someone like me, who is heavily left leaning but anti PC can see 25% of what jon says to be accurate, im now labeled alt right which is now a catch cry for neo nazi for some reason or conservative.
                  Because that person cant accept that you can be on the same politcal and social leaning while not wanting to run with pitchforks at everybody

                  So the battle continues.

          @vaegrand Steven King. Stephen King, however, seems lovely and tends to be a pretty great writer.

            I realised after my last post and kind of hung my head in shame waiting for the a turtle clown to come and drag me off into the sewer. Apparently there is a bug where you end up moderated if you edit a post, so I am living with my poor decisions.

      I like lamp. Because lamp is nice.

      I think you're misreading the intent behind people's comments on these articles.

      You're correct that nobody in these comments is defending JonTron's comments. That's because they don't agree with him.

      Comments about other facets of the article or the context of JonTron's background or the article on Kotaku aren't doing so because they want to "distract from the issue at hand" - they are doing so because those are the things they're interested in discussing. There's not much interesting to be said about the content of JonTron's remarks.

      Obviously people do exist on the planet who agree with JonTron's view, but there's no reason to think that any of them are posting here right now.

      Similarly, the reason people (like me for example) defend the right of people to say awful things but 'shy away' from 'admitting' to believe the same awful things is that most of them legitimately don't actually believe the awful thing. They just believe that to have open and honest discourse (something which you claim to be in favour of), you have to accept that some people will say some pretty abhorrent nonsense. But that's not really even related to this article - you seem to be the only one keen to bring up this particular issue here.

      It seems to me - and I'm open to the possibility that I could be wrong here - but it seems to me that your motivation with your comments (both this one and the ones that got deleted) is to make 'alt-right' boogeymen out of other people commenting on this article for the sole purpose of starting arguments - you seem to be willfully reading much more hatred into people's comments than there's any reason to think they actually hold.

        If you accept that people will say some pretty abhorrent nonsense then you must accept that others will decry that abhorrent nonsense. So many times this ideal of some sort of ambiguous freedom of speech seems to ignore the freedom to respond.

        "They have the right to say it" is a weak, pointless argument that doesn't add to any discussion. All it does is drive the discussion away from the actual substance. In this case, that abhorrent nonsense is abhorrent.

          I feel like this is kind of non-sequitur for this particular article/conversation and so don't really want to get into detail about it here.

          My personal view also upholds the freedom to respond, and I think that anyone who doesn't is a clear hypocrite.

            It's a non-sequitor in that I'm addressing the non-sequitor behind your justification of one side's arguments.

            What you have to realise is that nobody is censoring JonTron. Nobody is challenging his right to speak. It doesn't need defending. People calling him and asshole for saying assholish things is not censorship. It's not challenging his right to speak. His right to speak is not the point of discussion. What he said is.

              I brought it up in my reply because burnside mentioned it in his comment and I saw a parallel between his remarks on his perception of the agenda of people arguing about that and his perception of the agenda of people discussing the context of this article rather than its meat.

              You are correct that nobody is challenging JonTron's right to speak or attempting to censor him. That's why I view the entire free speech topic as completely unrelated to the article, as I also mentioned in my initial reply to burnside.

              Last edited 14/03/17 5:56 pm

              The problem is that people who agree with him are afraid to admit it, because they know that what he is saying is abhorrent. So instead we get the usual merry-go-round of 'free speech waaa/kotaku is too political/this isn't about games' instead of people discussing what he actually said.

                That was the case in the Pewdie Pie article, but a quick scan of this one shows just two people trying to make out like people are doing it (you and trjn), but no one arguing for free speech. There are 95 comments in this article (at time of me posting this) and you have repeatedly tried to claim that an argument is being made where there is none.

                There are people on the left that are claiming that these articles are bait too, so maybe just consider that it might not be some deep psychological attempt to hide bigotry and maybe, maybe just an attempt to have less arguments.

                Stop miss representing people.

                  I was replying to a point about "open and honest discourse" and bought it back to the fact the article is admonishing someone for what they said.

                  Mostly though, I'm just complaining about people complaining about politically charged articles.

                  There are also a number of deleted comments inflating that number.

                  Last edited 14/03/17 7:38 pm

                  @trjn
                  You are always going to have people like zeitxgeist, that are clearly ass holes. However sitting there and trying to claim that the right (far right at that) is somehow highly represented within the messages found in Kotaku's articles is hyperbole. There are some of them, but for some reason you seem to want to continually throw centre left/right people in because they don't like identity politics.

                  It isn't fair to expect everyone to completely align with your ideology otherwise they are a bigot. It only serves to push people like me that were lefties ten years ago (still vote greens because our politics is still very right facing) to the centre or right because the left is so aggressive and if I am being honest at times really unreasonable.

                  I know there are deleted messages and I already left a comment asking if I could somehow see the ones addressed to me, I don't really mind if they are abusive towards me, but I get why they would like to hide some of the more vulgar messages.

                  I think it would be best for everyone if there was an update to the filter feature, which allowed us to remove tags like political, because you would likely see people like me posting a lot less in these articles.

                  I am also not replying to your other post, it is too long and my house is too hot to read all that writing.

                  It only takes a persistent few to dominate a discussion. Take a look at who has posted in this article. Go back and look at any article relating to feminism in the last 3 years. Note how many names overlap and how similar their comments are to the stuff posted here.

                  As for calling people bigots, I did not call anyone a bigot at any point. I did not insinuate anyone was a bigot. I do not expect people to agree with me. I do think it's pointless for people to react to political discourse by covering their ears and shouting "talk about something else!" and I will not respect that view.

      Edited;
      By the time I got here I forgot who we were talking about and confused him with another "controversial" youtuber

      Last edited 14/03/17 7:53 pm

      The night passes, and none of the concern-trolls stepped up to the plate.

      I'm not surprised, and while validation is always a thing, it's more upsetting to realise that while this may be a microcosmic example, it's emblematic of the way the world has moved.

      Well, I'll do it for them. I'll discuss JonTron, because what he is doing is directly relevant to them.

      JonTron is a person of privilege. Yes, we know, he's of mixed non-US heritage. He's a second generation immigrant who 'passes' as white, so please STFU about the 'HE'S NOT A WHITE MAN'. Yes, he is. And like many second generation immigrants, he's more than happy to lash out at the current generation the same way people like him did towards his parents. From prison guard mentality onwards, this is a common phenomenon.

      But that aside, his xenophobia doesn't need to be prompted solely by his heritage.

      Like many people here, he's a person sitting on the world's biggest pile of privilege and feeling threatened. And that's what this is all about - the man is scared, and is using his platform to tell everyone.

      As some other astute posters have said here, this is indeed a conversation all about privilege. And we can hear the alt-right members of the audience REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE when they read it.

      But it is. Because privilege is what makes JonTron - and these guys - equate their 'suffering' directly with what the people they target go through.

      I mean this sincerely - these guys (and they mostly are) cognitively don't understand that being told in online forums that their views are unpleasant is NOT a violation of their fundamental human rights.

      They truly think that people telling them to STFU with their authoritarian posturing is equivalent in human suffering to the way repressive regimes treat unwanted immigrants, or the way many women are treated negatively in most aspects of life.

      I think the mistake 'normal' people make is that they think this is an actual conversation - that these guys know that their lives are privileged and the fact they freak out whenever someone opposes them is just drama for effect.

      It sincerely isn't. They have internalised their privilege so strongly that they are quite literally incapable of recognising it. They truly believe, in the face of the non-stop, overwhelming physical evidence, that middle/upper class males are 'under threat'. That society has become 'politically correct' and is not driven primarily for their benefit, but for cabals of minorities.

      Thing is, subconsciously they know it's not true. Which is why the majority of them are unable to actually engage with the content at hand, and instead employ selective arguments to distract from the topic. Free speech? None of these guys have ever actually been censored, and the fact their concern for free speech extends purely for the benefit of conservative speech gives lie to any grand egalitarian defense of human rights.

      They just think horrible things because they are scared, and want to be free to say horrible things but know that they shouldn't.

      And that's why you have JonTron, and that's why you have the same merry go round of comments on every one of these articles.

      It's not a conversation because a conversation can't happen. This is why you now hear screams of 'fake news' and 'unethical journalism' every two seconds.

      This is entirely a conversation about privilege, but those unaware of their privilege will never, ever be able to hear it.

      And it these kinds of conversations tend to keep going that way until either they manage to silence those who dare speak up, or they end up being messily deposed by those with less privilege than themselves.

        We cant join the conversation because EVERY SINGLE ONE of our posts are being deleted by the mods while you get to scream your never ending flow of BS rhetoric and labeling people who dont agree with you Alt right or conservative.
        There is no discussion nor debate because you and the mods here DONT ALLOW IT.

          Maybe the people you're cheerleading aren't the virtuous paragons of reasonable discussion you believe they are.

            thats the issue here, im not really cheerleading anyone, thats the problem you and alot of people fail to see.
            Jontron was wrong on most of what he said and hes hasnt been on the side of 'reasonable discussion' for quite some time, hes gone full redpill and its so very sad to see.
            But YOU arent the virtuous paragons of reasonable discussion you believe to be either.
            Its anyone who has a different opinion that you is shamed or labeled, something that you claim is being done to you.
            There is no virtuous paragons of reasonable discussion anymore. There are sides, and if anyone says "hey maybe there should be less of that and less obvious agenda pieces on here to lessen the divide" they get labeled alt right because anyone who could quite possible be anti PC culture and not agree with every point that gets made MUST be conservative or a nazi.

              To paraphrase a point I've already made, if "stop being a bigot" is an agenda then the person saying that is not the one causing the problem.

              There's a lot of equivocation going on in your few comments.

            It's a very interesting point, and one very pertinent to this discussion.

            We ALL want to believe we are the 'good guys', as are the people we admire.

            But for those of an authoritarian bent, that's quite difficult, as at the end of the day, well, they endorse pretty awful stuff.

            However, to them, there is a justification system that allows them to believe that their bigotry/racism/xenophobia is 'for the greater good'.

            Of course there are two areas of cognitive dissonance here.

            The first is that no matter your justification, if you're advocating stuff like the direct suffering of innocents (see our offshore detention regime) then no one wants to admit that. Which is why when it comes up, supporters of these things refuse to ever actually engage with it. They will wax lyrical about things such as the 'looming danger of terrorism' but will point blank refuse to enter into actual discussion about torture and abuse of children. It's the essential cowardice behind authoritarianism that allows these things to happen. If these people had the courage to face what they advocate, then they'd never give governments and other bodies the power to carry them out. But they don't, so we have these horrors.

            The second is that most of these things are not actually for the 'greater good'. They're for the 'good' of these people, and people like them. Very, very rarely do any authoritarian attitudes actually provide preventative/protective measures across an entire community. Instead, in almost every case in history, they provide a means for the privileged to protect their privilege.

            It's not complex psychology, and it's easily observable.

            Problem is that it's pernicious, because a vast amount of society never develop the emotional capacity to accurately weigh their own privilege in terms of providing a sustainably equitable society - and they spend their lives in a bubble of 'I GOT MINE'.

            The emboldening of these people to voice their fear is a double edged sword.

            On one hand, it acts as what should be a cautionary warning that their self serving fear is widespread, and leads to the worst aspects of human behaviour.

            On the other, if unchecked, the fear spreads, they gain power, and this more easily enables horrible things.

            Which is why this article exists and is relevant to discuss, instead of the usual gurgling about free speech and unethical journalism.

              I dont support our offsite detention regime, i think its horrible what we do to people trying to get to Australia to start a better life for themselves and more likely their family. However, i dont have a better idea on how we fix this issue, i dont agree with' looming danger of terrorism' being a credible reason why we should have this policy in place and i think that theory (at least in Australian outlooks, maybe not 100% USA/Europe) is one based in pure fear mongering and has no place in reality, neither is the accepting of the toture of children in these camps as unavoidable.
              However, i dont think we should allow ALL THE IMMIGRANTS and ALL THE REFUGEES in because we are having a housing crisis in some major cities, allowing MORE people in wont help matters, and allowing ALL possible applicants to enter Australia will be such as burden on our overgrowing welfare system that will again cause alot of problems. How many refugees and immigrants we should let in should be left with the people who know better, and i honestly have no clue, but i think we can probably agree, its MORE than what we have currently.
              Your second point is again, something that i agree with. People tend to protect 'their own' rather than 'the whole'. This shouldnt be the way, yet sadly is, and some people as sad as it is to say, cant see when they are being played. But in saying that Privilege being used as a catch cry is incredibly disingenuous. Jon in this example Is not actually 'white', but you refute that ACTUAL FACT because "close enough right?" so you can go along with your white privilege argument. Except privilege has more to do with Wealth than race. If you had said Jon has privilege because hes rich (and if you have seen his parents old house where he did his early videos) you would be correct. Im a white cisgender male, im supposed to have ALL THIS PRIVILEGE, except i dont, cause im poor as fuck and in the welfare system, the right wing and the rich, would rather see me die and no longer be a burden on the state/country than protect me because im not one of them by any stretch. I dont got mine, i never will.

              And all this being said, because i dont agree that this site, a video game and otaku related news site should have agenda opinion pieces in it. Im a part of the alt right.
              Honestly think about that for a second.

                You're making the assumption that a discussion that you are included in because of your own intrusion is talking about you specifically and solely. It is not, and that is quite clear from the wording. You're actually not someone who would be included so much directly in this - you don't tend to comment, just up/downvote along those lines. Which still begs the question why you regularly visit content you find objectionable (and encourage Kotaku to post more by doing so) but your role is more passive than the other people certainly.

                I'd also add that 'wealth has more to do with privilege than race' is, well, to put it politely, entirely and unprovably subjective from your white person's point of view. And I say that as someone who almost certainly comes from a poorer background than you and has worked up and through it, seeing various levels in operation.

                You probably may want to spend more time talking to people of colour (especially aboriginal people in Aus) and women to find out just how much privilege you are awarded based on your skin colour and gender and how utterly unaware of it you are.

                  Dude, look at everyone else you are downvoting, they were all saying the same thing, especially when my posts were being moderated, not a single one of them was going on about free speech nor approving what jontron has said, he was wrong about SO MUCH thats its unfathomable to defend. They were all saying hey maybe we dont need the agenda pieces which further the divide on a videogame news site while calling you out for you trying to widen the gulf further, something you continue to do with your privilege talk (The definition of "White privilege" is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in Western countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
                  Its even in if the definition ahat social political and economic is IMPORTANT CLASSIFICATIONS to be made with Privilege. Yet while going after a NON WHITE person while claiming White privilege, so im not sure if you are one of the best trolls ive ever seen, someone who refused to see fact because it counteracts your argument or just in turn racist)

                  Look at who i upvoted. leigh, namiwakiru, [Razor], thatteemo, vaegrand, geth, coco, Tobias Funke, Troubletcat, Jiggle Counter & mypetmonkey (before all his posts were nuked). All who had differing opinions on whats going on here, with a rational mindset rather than the far left than the people i downvoted.
                  Some of them simply dont want battle lines to grow further every time youtuber makes borderline racist and crazy comments, or a youtuber makes a joke that certain types of people dont like very much, or a bad dad joke on twitter thats now news cause he left a company.
                  Some of them wanted to offer a non biased opinion on what happened in the stream.
                  Some of them made a flippant joke.
                  You claim people who were disagreeing with you were alt right, conservative championing free speech, i did not see ONE PERSON defend what jontron was saying or his right to say it.
                  Thats what it MAY BE like in other discussions, i dont know, i can only speak on what i saw.
                  Thats what it MIGHT have been like back in the gamergate days.
                  Thats not what it was here.
                  Some of us just dont have the desire to grab the pitchforks cause some of you have the desire to spread Social Justice throughout all the lands and if anyone doesnt its suddenly name calling o clock and lumping us in with the alt right boogieman who ive yet to see visit this place. If someone other than burnside can point me in the direction of where on kotaku the alt right has appeared, i sure would like to see it.

                  But i think this is the last ill say on the subject, i wish i could impart some wisdom on the fact not everyone wants to have some kind of racial, social economical discussion on a video game website and claiming privilege or trying to put people in a box cause they disagree is just making it worse for the comments section.
                  But i think i have a better shot at getting elected prime minister with my white privilege.

                  You know what? I'm happy to believe you believe that is true.

                  Thing is, the very ambiguous commentary there includes people who regularly post and/or endorse alt right material.

                  So I'm willing to accept you just aren't paying close attention to the people you're defending, which is something very relevant to the discussion at hand.

                  But I think you need to take some responsibility for that, rather than just complaining.

                  To paraphrase Trjn's paraphrase:

                  'if "stop being a bigot" is an agenda then the person saying that is not the one causing the problem.'

                  So if you truly aren't endorsing some of the things it looks very much like you are endorsing, you may want to re-think your approach.

          Hey @m2d2, I've been keeping an eye on the discussion as well as Alex.

          I'll just mention that I've cleaned up a few comment threads that descended into back and forth 'lefty/alt-right/nazi' namecalling and the like. We're not censoring any political views, just poor behaviour. See above for a great comment thread in which people managed to have a interesting discussion with differing viewpoints and still keep it civil.

    What I got from listening to the stream is this;

    Destiny sees America as a place that's in a state of constant mixed cultural growth and has been since the dawn of its birth. That America needs immigrants to come in and continue stirring the pot/economy, and that through culturally diverse experiences/invensions everyone can benefit from this by adding any aforementioned experiences/invensions into their lives. His example of this is poor people having iPhones because of a multicultural tech tree.

    JonTron sees that an out of control immigration strategy will cause America to change for the worse, not better, because certain immigrants bring toxic beliefs which clash not only with the American law but against the American constitution.

    Destiny is blaming JonTron for being in a state of "zen", meaning that JonTron is comfortable with the current state of affairs and doesn't want things to change. An example simply being 'turn the tap off, we have enough water now'.

    Destiny refuses this ideal, stating that this is America's absolute identity, a mutt superpower that thrives on diversity and wouldn't be America without it. That being American isn't being a western-cultured-only country, it's being a mutt superpower collective that lives together in harmony, hugging and spooning the American constitution while continuing to evolve as a multicultural hive.

    So in the end;

    JonTron needs to relax.
    Destiny needs to be more wary.

    Both people are too far sided.

      Well said. Are you channelling Philip DeFranco?

        *Googles*

        I've never seen that man in my life.

          He's pretty great. About the only person to cover the news and attempt to be neutral on the subject. Couldn't recommend enough.

          Except he's not doing anything this week. Tune in next Monday!

      I don't know - JonTron said all immigrants of colour are criminals who are invading the USA. I'm not sure how that can be explained away as mild racism.

        It can be explained away as "blatant idiocy" at least.

        I'm not sure how that can be explained away as mild racism

        You can't, and you shouldn't.

      I can see what you're saying, but I don't think that accurately sums up JonTron's actions here. You're being nice. Normally that'd be good but you're making a coherent argument that I'm just not seeing outside of your comment.

      This seems to be a new twist on the classic JonTron 'make a stupid statement then back it up to critics with half informed statements and assumptions treated as fact'. It seems like lately he's gravitated towards the alt-right because they align very nicely with that sort of 'asking me to back up my statements is harassment' attitude.

        The big shame about this is that it wasn't handled like a debate, it was handled like a fight after school, surrounded by cliques to impress. I think this would've been different if it were behind closed doors and not streamed online with commenters and commentators typing away.

        What I'd like to see is a round two. Prepared and researched, with both sides completely aware of what the other was talking about.

        Their preparations was only half done. JonTron went looking for statements that backed up only his side of the arguement, and Destiny did the exact same. So when it came time to lay the cards on the table, both were great at starting an arguement, but were terrible when it came to counter arguements.

        One example is where JonTron counter argues by mentioning that rich black males do more crime than rich white males. The result of that statement has nothing to do with current immigration laws. Both of those groups were educated under the American educational system, so both of those groups know what's right and what's wrong. What I'd be more worried about immigrants who were educated under another country's educational system, let alone the ones who weren't educated at all.

        Another thing about their counter arguements, both parties kept laughing at each other's absurd claims, googling their opponents claims when they've never heard such a statement/statistics before. Mind you, Google does its job well, but let's be honest when it comes to the first few pages of search results it shows you news articles on ad covered news sites, written by biased journalists who report only that which helps their agenda. They never bother to find out where that information stemmed from, who it was collected by, and then when/where/how the survey was carried out in the first place to at least filter out the amature surveys.

        In the end, it was a battle of, "I have the most info on my side", and how long it took for the other side to be butthurt.

    If there were a simple and/or correct answer to immigration, we wouldn't be here discussing it because each country would already have the policy in place.

    Do you let everyone, no one, or a few in? Where should these people come from? Should they be trained in a profession already? Each and every combination of those has both positives and negatives, whether they be economical, cultural or otherwise. The policy of immigration will always go up and down with world events, economies and political climates.

    Man, I wish he stuck to the funny stuff. I really enjoyed that. Not saying that I'll stop watching but I can tell this is going to diminish my enjoyment.

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